Auckland Airport is extending its online click-and-collect service to domestic travellers as a way to service retailers from the international terminal feeling the squeeze of closed borders.
From today, domestic travellers will be able to shop the airport's online marketplace The Mall and collect their orders before their domestic flight. Previously The Mall, which was set up in June 2018, was only accessible by international travellers.
While duty and tax will still be applicable, the platform is promising to have up to 75 per cent discounts on products such as confectionery and specials on fragrance and liquor.
Jayne Wear, Auckland Airport's head of omnichannel retailing, said work on the expansion of The Mall for the domestic terminal had been under development since early July, and came in response to a survey conducted with frequent travellers.
"This is a mechanism to be able to help our retailers to be able to sell to the passengers that we do have," Jonathan Good, Auckland Airport general manager of technology and marketing, said.
"It's bringing the international terminal shopping experience to a domestic audience."
The service for domestic travellers will be similar to the international terminal offering, but offers a smaller range of goods from fewer retailers. The collection point is located near the Air New Zealand arrivals gate in the domestic terminal.
Local travellers would be able to collect their goods outbound from Auckland or on arrival, Good said. The domestic offering was developed in three months - a third of the time it took to develop the original The Mall offering.
Auckland Airport earned $141.5 million in retail income in the 2020 financial year, a decrease of $84.3m or 37 per cent on the same time a year earlier.
It earns concession revenue from retailers within both terminals, the Strata Lounge, as well as off-airport duty and tax-free sales collected by passengers from international terminal collection points.
"We know that an awesome retail experience is part of what makes the start and end of many great holidays. For our retailers, it is really important to be able to support them in these challenges times and for us as a business it is also a great way to be able to re-engage [with customers] and continue to build our business," Good said.
During Covid-19 alert levels 3 and 4, the majority of retail stores in both terminals were closed. All stores within the domestic terminal are now up and running, but only a small number of international terminal retailers are open.
Currently there 15 stores across duty-free, food and beverage, travel essentials and foreign exchange open for departing international passengers.
Wear said Auckland Airport had taken inspiration from Changi Airport in Singapore, Frankfurt Airport in Germany and London's Heathrow Airport which had a similar tax-inclusive online shopping offering within their domestic terminals.
Auckland Airport was, however, the first airport to introduce this in response to Covid, Good said.
"Heathrow and Frankfurt do more of a reserve and collect proposition where you reserve the item online and pay and collect when you come to the airport, where we have aimed for a seamless purchasing experience in advance of travel," Wear said.
"We're really conscious of the turbo-charged shift to online to compliment physical channels and that's why we're really excited to build a new channel for our retail partners."